I have a charming, smart, funny, sweet, amazing, blue eyed 10 year old son.
Except when he's not.
And then I have a sarcastic, rude, smart mouthed, always gotta get the last word in, irritating 10 year old son.
One of my dear friends once told him, "You are very smart and you can use it for good or evil."
Lately it seems that he has chosen evil. PURE. EVIL. Directed at yours truly.
And I have no idea where to go from here. I am an early childhood teacher...or I was until I got laid off. I know all the developmental milestones, providing an enriching environment, dealing with challenging behaviors, blah, blah, blah.
And I don't know what to do. There I said it.
I have always told Big Yankee that my degree is birth - 8 yrs. After that we are screwed.
Yep SCREWED with an uppercase S..hell SCREWED in all caps.
He is a very smart kid...thus the reason I refer to him as Einstein.
Once he started talking he NEVER stopped. He asked the tough questions, used larger words than typical for his age and had a way of connecting things that just cannot be explained.
When he was four he was self appointed foreman of a dirt pile at the neighborhood park. The HOA wanted the dirt spread around to even things out. He took a clipboard and walked the block (3 houses long) recruiting the other kids for shifts. No I am NOT kidding and NO I did not have anything to do with this. Kids would berate the carpool mom for not driving home fast enough after pre-k. They had a job to do and they did not want to disappoint.
In kindergarten his teacher worked with the GTC (Gifted Talented Creative) teacher to challenge him. It had to be done on the sly since our district does not identify enrichment students until first grade and GT (Gifted & Talented) until second grade. Einstein didn't need help with his homework and whizzed through it. He could look at a math problem and do the calculations in his head.
He would come home from school and Google to his heart's content. He would write a two paragraph paper on red-eared sliders because he wanted to. He participated in Enrichment classes but sought more challenges.
When Einstein was in second grade they sent home a permission slip for testing. There was a miscommunication when I asked if testing would effect his enrichment placement and I understood that he would still be pulled out for some more advanced work. I wasn't fully aware of what we were dealing with at the time. I still thought he was just an extremely verbal and curious kid who caught on to things quickly.
We turned down the opportunity since he was going to get the same services no matter what. What was the point of putting him through unnecessary testing if it wasn't going to change anything?
A few weeks later his classroom teacher contacted me and requested that we consent to testing so they would be able to offer him more interventions-accelerated learning, curriculum compacting, and differentiation to name a few. Once I learned that our state requires an IEP for gifted services we were all over it.
And so began our journey as parents of a special needs child.
I often think of gifted kids as the ugly red headed step sister of special needs. Many people don't see the challenges involved in parenting these kids. They say things like "oh you're so lucky you don't have to worry about him in school. It all comes so easy to him..blah, blah, blah."
They have NO idea.
What do you think- do gifted children have special needs? Do parents of gifted kids get less support?